mosbolletjie, noun

A sweetish bun, made with the yeast of partially fermented grape- or raisin-juice, often flavoured with aniseed and eaten fresh or as a rusk; mos-biscuit.

When you hear the word mosbolletjie – you think, yum! Mosbolletjies are true to our South African history, and while we are busy harvesting our grapes – it is top of mind to enjoy!

What is Mosbolletjie?

Mosbolletjies were initially introduced to South Africa by the French Huguenots. They settled in Franschhoek in 1688. During the winemaking season, they used must or mos, which is grape juice in the first stage of fermentation before straining for wine, to act as the rising agent for the dough used to make the buns. Nowadays, since mos is not widely available, the locals use yeast made from fermenting raisins to make the mosbolletjies.

A second-best substitute to mos is, of course, regular yeast, available at your local grocer. 



  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 packets active dry yeast (or 4 cups strong fermenting must, at about 17°Balling)
  • ¼ cup whole aniseed
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup white grape juice
  • ½ cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • ¼ cup sugar mixed with ¼ cup warm water (sugar syrup for brushing after baking)


  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, sugar, yeast (must), and aniseed until thoroughly combined. Heat butter and grape juice in a saucepan on a medium flame just until the butter has melted. Add the milk and water into the saucepan and stir until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, then mix to form a soft dough. Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface, knead for 5-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a large oiled bowl, then cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
  2. Pour out the dough onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces (about 110 g each) and shape it into balls using oiled hands. Pack the balls tightly into two loaf tins, eight balls in each. Cover and leave to rise for about 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown on top. Turn out onto wire racks, then brush immediately with syrup. Leave to cool slightly, then eat warm, or break into pieces.

What is your favourite twist on this recipe? While there are so many different ways to make Traditional Recipes. We at Le Pommier enjoy a Cinnamon Bun Mosbolletjies and, of course, the original, served hot & covered with farm-fresh butter.

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